Thursday, February 15, 2007

Worst meal of my life, so far.

Last night, exhausted after a day of miserable driving in the east coast snow storm, my wife and I entered the Bob Evans restaurant in Columbia Maryland, for what we thought would be a quick and uncomplicated meal. It was neither.

We stood by the sign that said "please wait to be seated" for nine minutes, and then selected our own table.

We were ignored by the wait staff for another 12 minutes, before we were able to beg for two glasses of water. The water was quite good, and, unfortunately, the best part of our meal.

I ordered a bowl of beef-vegetable soup, and a "steakburger" with tomato and a slice of raw onion. I specifically asked if it was possible to get the burger medium-rare, and was both surprised and pleased when the waiter answered in the affirmative. Wife ordered turkey with stuffing, baked potato, and cranberry sauce.

The waiter seemed friendly, and disappeared.

I didn't think it should take more than a couple of minutes to ladle some soup into a bowl, and when his absence passed the 10-minute mark, my wife walked up to the counter to inquire about the soup. The waiter's face went as blank as Dan Quayle in a press conference, and then he asked "when do you want it?" I would have answered "today," but wife is less sarcastic, and simply said "soon, please."

It arrived a few minutes later -- cold.

Wife's turkey was also cold, as was the potato and stuffing. Cranberry sauce, of course, should be cold -- but she didn't get any.

My burger, on the other hand, was not cold. Instead of the requested medium-rare, it was nearly incinerated -- cooked much too long to be cold. I could have asked for a replacement, but I didn't want to waste any more time, and I had no reason to expect the burger would be any better the second time.

My french fries were cold; and instead of the requested tomato and onion, I got tomato, lettuce and pickle slices.

When we saw the waiter again, I reminded him about the onion, and he responded with the same Dan Quayle expression he had when asked about the soup. He then scurried off in the direction of the kitchen.

He never came back. When I had eaten enough of my burnt burger and was ready to leave, I approached the Quayle clone at the counter. I asked for our check, told him to cancel the onion, and went to the men's room.

In the john, I discovered one of those convenient flip-down baby-diaper-changing tables mounted directly over a railing that was installed to make it easier for handicapped people to use the toilet -- making the railing useless.

When I got back to the table, I found that we were given someone else's check.

When I got to the hotel, I had diarrhea.

If any of the Bob Evans staff is reading this, please don't offer a refund or a coupon for a free meal. The only thing you have that I'd consider ingesting is your water; but I'd rather suck on a snowball than enter one of your restaurants.


Anonymous said...

Why is the US flag hanging upside-down? Is that really the way Evans displays the flag?

Michael N. Marcus said...

Evans had the flag flying normally. An upside-down flag is a distress symbol, and since they need help so badly, I flipped their flag over in the picture.